The morning after typhoon Feria…
The mud-dening of
Sitio Sto Niño, Catbalogan
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 25, 2009
– Some 740 families in Sto Niño, Catbalogan are slowly
washing off the mud that soiled their clothings, furniture, appliances
and even wrecked their motorcycles and pedicabs.
clothings and belongings placed outside was the common sight in sitio Sto Niño as affected households do
cleaning of muds and debris brought by flashfloods inside their houses. The floodwaters had reached to a depth of 10 feet.
On Wednesday, as PIA
with some media allies surveyed Purok 2, Sto Niño, everything is
maddening with mud.
Lola Luisa Cabuello,
74 said she had to swim to safety as the raging waters slowly barged
into the two-storey house of her daughter.
Cabuello said she has
just gone shopping for P5,000 to replenish goods in her mini store
only to notice that her stock after the storm is now soled with mud.
One crying woman,
admitted that the laundry she carefully washed and ironed due for
delivery the following day were all soaking with mud. She is worried
that her boss, a physician in town will ask her to pay for the damaged
Her mother an elderly
woman in her 60’s was also mourning for her lost hog.
The flashflood was
swift but deadly, rampaging through things that come its way, carrying
timber, appliances, pieces of furniture and even motorcycles,
sometimes barging into small houses and incurring severe damages.
Mr. and Mrs. Petronilo
Garte with three kids in tow had to run to a sturdier house in their
neighborhood as the raging waters battered their wooden house with
tons of debris and mud damaging all the properties they have saved for
the last eight years.
PIA spotted dead
turkeys, chicken and even litter awaiting disposal by their grieving
another grandmother instructed her son to tie the kids together with
them so they won’t be washed away by the floods.
Jun Granados, a
technician at DYMS picked up the soiled books and clothings, the
latter he and wife washed in the now tamed Antiao River some 10 meters
from their two-storey home while a survivor chicken, was still
hovering around with wings thick with mud.
His son whispered the
bird was to be ‘chicken for dinner’.
It will be a while
before the barangay folks of sitio Sto Niño, Brgy. San Andres,
Catbalogan will forget the dreadful mudfloods, but Lola Luisa said
should another flashflood comes along, she will lock her store and
flee to higher grounds not necessarily swimming anymore.
Gov. Evardone orders
search & rescue of 10 missing fishermen due to “Feria”
By BRYAN M. AZURA
Samar – Governor Ben P. Evardone, PDCC Chairman, already ordered the
Philippine National Police and Local Government Units (LGUs) to make
intensive search and rescue operations of persons who went missing due
typhoon “Feria” that hit the province on Tuesday.
He stressed that the
earlier the search is made, the chance of finding them alive is
higher. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of this province
reported two more missing fishermen from the
of Balangkayan today placing the number of missing persons to 10.
According to Municipal
Mayor Arnold Gesite, the two fishermen, Manuel Gesite and Jeffrey
Contado, both residents of Poblacion, Balangkayan, went fishing on a
motorboat last Monday, June 22 even if weather authorities already
cautioned fisherfolks not to go on with their livelihood as it was
already dangerous due to the looming typhoon.
Wilma Contado, wife of
Jeffrey, said that she was hesitant in letting his husband go as
strong winds have started already that afternoon before they left. “We
were, however, left without option but to let him go because we only
rely on his catch for the needs of our six children,” the wife said in
Joel Cacilos of
Barangay B of Borongan town also went missing since he left for sea
last June 21.
In Guiuan, 7
fishermen, including 3 motoboats, this town, are still nowhere to be
found since Monday also. Those who are still missing are Angelo
Angelio, Manuel Badenas, Dionesio Badenas, Serafin Ramboy, Londoy
Lacaba and Ernesto Bagares, all residents of Brgy. Casuguran, Homonhon
Island. A certain Demy Lariestan, also a fisherman from Brgy. Cagusuan,
Homonhon Island, went missing also.
On the other hand, the
PPDO also reported that 4 fisherfolks had been rescued in Brgy. Culasi,
Guiuan. Those found were Norberto Dasig and Jovito Larina from Silago,
Leyte and Ben Tayum and Buboy Paha from Brgy. Kikilo, Abuyog,
The governor also
reiterated that the fishermen should heed the warnings given by
weather authorities through radio announcements. It is observed that
there are always reported missing persons every time a tropical
depression hits the province.
Govenor Evardone also
said he already coordinated with nearby provinces where the missing
fishermen could possibly have been blown.
Meanwhile, Atty. Byron
Suyot, Governor’s Office Chief-of-Staff, said that the PPDO is
continually assessing the damages done in Can-avid town as a result of
a tornado brought across with the typhoon. Approximately 500 houses
had been partially damaged according to a PDCC report released at 12
Buildings and other
physical structures of the elementary school, high school and the
Eastern Samar State University – Can-avid, had been damaged as well.
4 persons had been
reported injured including a tricycle driver who was hit by fallen
tree during the wake of the typhoon while he was on the road. His
vehicle has also been severely damaged.
A bus from Arteche
town bound for Manila has also been reported to have met an accident
in Paranas, Samar. Apparently, Atty Suyot said, the driver could not see the
road anymore due to heave rains and strong winds resulting in the
accident. 1 passenger was killed and 30 more were injured because of
immediately asked the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office
to make the necessary steps in providing relief packages to towns that
had been severely hit by the storm. He also ordered the Provincial
Health Office to dispatch personnel to barangays where there had been
reported physical injuries.
Biliran PDCC evacuates
residents of coastal barangays to a safer ground
By FLOR JACKSON (PIA Biliran)
NAVAL, Biliran – Some 35 affected familes composed of 175 persons living in the
coastal barangay of Sto. Niño in the municipality of Naval were
evacuated early Tuesday afternoon to a safer ground due to Typhoon
Feria by the Biliran Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC)
led by its council Chairman, Governor Rogelio Espina.
This was revealed by
Ms. Flordeliza Trani, Provincial Social Welfare and Development
Officer (PSWDO) to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Biliran
Provincial Information Center in a mobile phone interview Tuesday
Ms. Trani informed
that the combined floodwaters and the rising sea water caused by big
waves has prompted the PDCC together with the barangay officials to
evacuate the affected families to the Sto. Niño Elementary School, the
designated evacuation center in the area as level of water continued
to rise knee-deep.
Relief activities were
conducted by the PDCC jointly with the Provincial Social Welfare and
Development Office (PSWDO).
She added that no less
than Governor Rogelio Espina, led in the distribution of initial
relief goods and assistance to the typhoon victims in Brgy. Sto Niño
consisting of five cans corned beef and five kilos rice.
Furthernore, she said
that Governor Espina made rounds in Brgy. Santo Niño to see for
himself the status of the barangay residents at the height of typhoon
Feria that placed the entire Biliran province under signal no. 2
Ms. Trani revealed
that aside from the five cans corned beef and the five kilos rice that
were personally handed by the Governor to the typhoon victims, cooked
rice was likewise given for immediate relief to the hungry stomachs of
the affected persons.
A sack of rice, she
said was left with the captain of Brgy. Sto. Niño for additional need
of some cooked rice for the victims.
Meanwhile, some six
families composed of 35 persons living along the coastal barangay of
Lo-ok in Almeria town in the province were evacuated to a higher
location at the Lo-ok Elementary School, Ms. Trani informed.
Seawaters in this barangay rose to an alarming level due to the big
waves brought about by Typhoon Feria.
In response to the
situation, immediate relief activities were conducted by the Municipal
Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of the said municipality
to help the typhoon victims.
As of reporting time,
Ms. Trani indicated that a team was dispatched by the provincial
government of Biliran through Gov. Espina to go around the province to
make an assessment of the typhoon damage particularly on agriculture,
infrastructure and other areas.
receives livelihood aid from Gov. Evardone, DILP
By BRYAN M. AZURA
Samar – Governor Ben P. Evardone with Engr. Alexis Abellar,
officer-in-charge of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Provincial Office, turned-over a financial assistance to a group of
differently-abled persons at the conference room of the governor,
provincial capitol, this province.
Samar Gov. Ben P. Evardone is assisted by DILG Prov’l Officer
Alexie Abellar in turning over the certificate of donation
amounting to P164,400 to Association of Persons with Disabilities
of Borongan President Edmund Balan and its members.
The Association of
Persons with Disabilities of Borongan (PWD) received P164,400 in aid
for the establishment of a mini-canteen snack bar, the association’s
primary project. Edmund Balan, president of the PWD, personally
accepted the assistance from the governor which is a part of the DOLE
Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).
Balan, a polio victim
and has since used crutches in walking, said that the amount will
greatly improve the living condition of the PWDs particularly here in
Borongan. The association of PWDs in Borongan is composed of
individuals with hearing, seeing and walking impairments. “Just
because some parts of our body are disabled do not mean that we cannot
do anything anymore,” Balan contend.
The amount will be
used to procure the equipment and materials for the food bar the
association will establish.
Governor Evardone said
that the amount they are going to receive is actually very minimal
considering that DOLE through the DILP is granting huge funds for
projects being undertaken by differently-abled people. “I would like
to encourage the association to come up with more projects for DILP
funding,” Evardone said.
The provincial chief
emphasized that there are physically impaired persons who have been
trained in various skills which could be translated into money-making
activities. “Some have been trained as masseurs which are becoming
fast income-earners in Metro Manila and in Cebu,” the governor said.
Evardone added that he
is willing to commit a space at the provincial capitol if only to
provide more livelihood opportunities for the PWDs. In addition, the
governor said that he will tap the expertise of Provincial Planner
Henry Afable to assist in the development of program of works for the
association to get further funding support from DILP.
appreciation meanwhile to the governor for being pro-active especially
in pro-poor programs. “The good governor had been very instrumental in
realization of this turn-over of assistance as he himself lobbied for
this from the President as this is a part of the employment and
livelihood program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” he said
referring to Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program
To recall with the
governor also turned over some more than P200,000 to the towns of Oras
and Maydolong under the CLEEP program. The amount will be used to pay
the wages of workers who will be assigned with various workloads the
local chief executive will determine.
Region 8 has five mild
positive cases of A(H1N1), DOH says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
There are already five confirmed A(H1N1) positive cases in Region 8
but there is really no reason to panic because the Department of
Health is in control of the situation, Department of Health Region 8
Director Edgardo Gonzaga said.
Director Edgardo Gonzaga
Director Gonzaga also
disclosed that there are four cases under observation at the EVRMC.
One of the first two
confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Eastern Visayas is a third year student
from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS).
The other positive
case is a seaman from Catbalogan who just arrived from Singapore. His
three children were tested and his 8 year old son was confirmed to be
The other two positive
cases are from V&G Subdivision who are also schoolmates of the first
Department of Health in Region 8 has announced that there is no reason
for the public to panic. The cases of A(H1N1) in the region are mild
cases similar to the common flu.
What is important is
that if one develops the symptoms, this must be reported to the Health
officials for proper disposition, medication and treatment, Director
reiterated his call for the reorganization and reactivation of the
barangay health emergency response teams in all the barangays of the
Region in order to help prevent community-level outbreak. The BHERTs
will help in the monitoring and reporting of cases, Director Gonzaga
In fact, on Sunday,
Director Gonzaga and his staff were at V&G subdivision to organize the
BHERT of the barangays there.
Gonzaga said that the DOH in Region 8 has been monitoring closely 42
students of the PSHS in Eastern Visayas in Palo, Leyte, after they
were found to have fever on Tuesday.
Ten of the 42 placed
under observation were classmates of the infected student. All the 42
students have been quarantined at the PSHS dormitory where they were
tested, given medicine and were made to wear masks. The result of the
test is not known yet, Director Gonzaga said.
The PSHS has suspended
its classes for 10 days after the student tested positive for the
public and private schools in the Region are orienting their students
on proper cough sanitation and proper way of washing their hands.
Several public schools have required the children to bring soap,
handtowels and alcohol.
DOH: Spread the
information, not the virus
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 22, 2009
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Department of Health through Dr. Antonio Tirazona urges all
Samarnons to spread the health information and not the virus.
The physician was
reacting to the scores of Catbaloganons who have become panicky
because of a confirmed case in Samar’s capital town.
In an exclusive
interview with Tirazona at his office last week, he reiterated that
the virus is not as dangerous as dengue.
Once again, the doctor
reminds the public to observe coughing etiquette as the virus is
transmitted through droplets from those already positive.
DOH said that infected
persons are referred as: Case Under Observation (CUO).
Tirazona said that
based on DOH guidelines, coughs and sneezes spread diseases and that
respiratory etiquette is basic good health manners.
Cough manners, based
on the guidelines urges people to cover their nose and mouth with
tissue or handkerchief every time they sneeze, cough or blow their
And if the person
doesn’t have a tissue, they must cover their nose and mouth with hands
or cough into their sleeve.
Another very important
reminder is proper hand washing lasting from 40-60 seconds with soap
and water before touching eyes, nose or mouth and before shaking hands
with other people.
If water is not
available, to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, they are told.
The public is also
cautioned against spitting on the floor, they must do so in a trash
bin or on a small plastic bag.
handkerchief, they must wash it separately from clothing.
Patients who are sick
are also advised to stay home, maintain a safe distance of one meter
from other people when sick and never to share eating utensils,
drinking glasses towels and other personal items.
Provincial Hospital Chief Dr. Rodulf Mabulay said that the hospital
has an action plan to react and to respond to the cases that will be
brought to their attention.
As of press time,
City Health Officer Dr Senecia Yong who has also done contact tracing
declared that the confirmed case is now on his way to recovery and
assured the Catbaloganons that the CUO will not be a threat to public
Region 8 welcomes
giant investor in Tacloban
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – While some big enterprises are closing shop in some parts of the
world, Region 8 recently welcomed the opening of Robinsons Place Tacloban, the newest store of the Robinsons Malls which is the second
largest shopping mall and retail operator in the Philippines.
So far the biggest
shopping mall in the Region, Robinsons Place Tacloban is located
within the city’s expaqnding commercial district at Marasbaras
District, about one kilometer away from the airport and four
kilometers away from Tacloban downtown area.
With a floor area of
31,000 square meters for the mall and 5,000 square meters for the BPO
building, where TeleTech Tacloban is soon to open its newest site in
the country, Robinsons Place Tacloban boasts of complete in-store
facilities that include a department store, appliance center, food
court, supermarket, amusement center, and a state-of-the-art
for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras said that the opening of the
Robinsons Place Tacloban is a welcome development not only for
Tacloban City but for the province of Leyte and the entire Region 8.
For one, Robinsons
Place Tacloban has generated about a thousand employment opportunities
for the people of Tacloban and Region 8. It also generated investments
as local investors were encouraged to set up their business within the
The mall will have
great impact to the City of Tacloban
in terms of business taxes that the operator will be paying.
Tacloban City Mayor
Alfred Romualdez was quoted as saying that the opening of the
Robinsons Place in Tacloban is a manifestation of investor confidence
in the city and in the entire Region 8.
Mr. Frederick D. Go,
Robinsons Land president and chief operating officer, during the
opening of the Mall on July 11, disclosed that next year a 100-room
hotel will be built just beside the mall and within the company’s
"The mall is just the
first phase of our development. We still have land available around
the mall to expand. The economy is not bad and we believe that the
mall will do very well here in Tacloban," Mr. Go said.
Tabaquero just showing
off, not a single guerrilla front dismantled by the AFP
By NDF -
June 20, 2009
Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today dismissed Gen. Arthur Tabaquero
as "showing off" to the puppet president Gloria Arroyo in asserting
that the guerrila fronts in the region have been largely dismantled
and that the revolutionary movement will be finished by 2010. "The 8th
Infantry Division chief Gen. Tabaquero was merely trying to impress
Arroyo in a regional media interview, especially because his troops
are reeling from successive offensives by the New People's Army," said
NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas. "Not a single guerrilla front
has been dismantled by the 8th ID in
If the NPA is on its last legs, how could it successfully wage almost
a hundred battles in 2008? Let the continuing offensives of the NPA in
2009 speak the truth."
spokesperson elaborated that, "The last official report of the Efren
Martires Command cited 93 military engagements by the NPA in 2008.
These offensive and defensive military actions dealt over 90
casualties killed in action on the Arroyo government's side, and less
than 10 killed in action on the NPA's side. The NPA was also able to
seize various firearms and thousands of bullets. The NPA continues to
step up offensives this 2009. For example, in the May 30 raid on the
military detachment in Brgy. Polangi, Catarman, N. Samar, the NPA
seized one M203 rifle, six M16 rifles, and one M14 rifle."
Fr. Salas also said
that Arroyo and her generals want to escalate war through their Oplan
Bantay Laya campaign so that Arroyo could stay on in power. "The
Arroyo regime clearly wants to remain in power beyond 2010 by
manipulating charter change through a Constituent Assembly. But using
the military is really Arroyo's last resort to impose the extension of
her regime on the people. Thus escalating Oplan Bantay Laya is really
meant to support Arroyo's bid, which means continuing political
killings, suppressing the anti-Arroyo movement, and terrorizing the
people with an all-out war."
spokesperson concluded that it is the Arroyo regime that should be
ended in 2010. "The people are fed up with the corruption, brutality
and puppetry of the Arroyo regime. Thus the NPA will pursue more
offensives in sympathy with the people's movement to get rid of the
despised regime. The powerful movement of the people against Arroyo
and widespread offensives by the NPA will hound the Arroyo regime out
Festival of Festivals promises to be more colorful and festive this
Media Relations Center
June 20, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY – The Leyte Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals would continue to show
force this year despite opposition of a similar festival being revived
in the city.
This was disclosed by
PAGCOR Vice-Chairman Remedios “Matin” Petilla, who also chairs the
Kasadyaan Festival Committee during a press conference held on opening
night of the Kasadyaan Festival Park at the RTR Plaza.
According to the
former governor and Leyte representative, initially there are thirteen
to fifteen contingents expected to join this year’s streetdancing and
festival presentation while two famed festival in the country are
expected to join as well as guest contingents.
These two are Leyte’s
very own Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte and Cebu’s Lumad Basakanon
from the famous Sinulog Festival. Both festivals have been
respectively declared champions in national festival competitions such
as the Sinulog Festival in Cebu every January and the Aliwan Fiesta in
Manila during summer.
Mrs. Petilla said the
Buyogan Festival has already been elevated to the Hall of Fame for
successively winning three major festivals namely: the
Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival 2008, Sinulog Festival 2009 and the Aliwan
“We would like to give
chance to other contingents coming from other municipalities of the
province and Buyogan have been winning the grand champion several
times now in three different festivals. So, they will come this June
as guest contingent,” Mrs. Petilla said.
Lumad Basakanon, on
the other hand, is a group from Brgy. Basak, San Nicolos, Cebu City.
It was the grand champion in the Free Interpretation Category in the
2007 and 2008 Sinulog Festival but bowed to the Buyogan Festival in
the same category this year.
Lumad Basakanon was
also the Grand Prize Winner in the Aliwan Fiesta in 2006, 2007 and
2008 but bowed to Tribu Kabatok in last year’s newly-revived Sangyaw
Festival in Tacloban City.
Petilla said the number of contingents who signified to join this year
would want to show the people and all visitors that Leyte’s
municipalities is cohesive and especially now that after 14 years,
Leyte’s festival contingents are making names in the national festival
arena such as Sinulog Fiesta in Cebu and the Aliwan Fiesta in Manila.
On the other hand,
Pintados Foundation Inc. President Eugene Tan the group is sticking
with the Kasadyaan Festival of Leyte province saying the two has
already become a tradition.
“As long as there
would be Kasadyaan, there would always be a Pintados,” Tan said to the
He likewise disclosed
that as part of the preparation the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival has
already sought a permit from the city for the streetdance parade.
“Since this is all for
the benefit of the Taclobanons, we are hoping that they would grant us
one,” Tan added.
On the same note, Mrs.
Petilla said, they would proceed with the Pintados Kasadyaan
June 27, 2009 and the stage presentation at the
Development Center thereafter.
“What is a festival
without street dancing. It’s unheard of,” she said.
would be vying for the half a million prize that would be given to the
grand champion of this year’s Kasadyaan Festival. There would also be
consolation prizes for runners-up and non-winning contingents.
Prizes for the winners
are being shouldered by the provincial government of Leyte.
All out offensive vs.
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 20, 2009
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The 8th Infantry Division (8th ID) Philippine Army based in Catbalogan, Samar commanding general MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero ordered
an all out offensive against NPAs.
In a text message
received by PIA-Samar, Col. Armand Rico, Information Officer said that
just on Wednesday at
8:40 AM, June 17,
2009, a platoon of soldiers from the 20th Infantry Battalion led by
1Lt Julius Muyco encountered more or less 15 NPA rebels at the
vicinity of Barangay Duran, Bobon, Northern Samar.
The fire fight, Rico
added lasted for 15 minutes which drove away the rebels east.
In the afternoon of
the same day, at about
2:15 PM, the same troops, while conducting pursuit operations
encountered a bigger group, this time numbering to 50 rebels more or
less five kilometres from the first encounter site.
Another fire fight
ensued for an hour that made the enemies of the state scamper to
LtCol. Francis Cabugon,
battalion commander of the 20th IB ordered additional troops as
blocking force against the fleeing rebels.
This resulted to the
recovery of subversive documents of high intelligence value and
personal belongings of the NPAs.
soldiers were slightly wounded while the army believes that the
enemies suffered heavy casualties judging from the bloodstains on the
The encounter led to
the marching order of Tabaquero to all field commanders to declare an
all out offensive against the NPAs in
Meanwhile, a high
ranking official of the New People’s Army in Abra surrendered to the
Cordillera Police Intelligence Group after a negotiation.
Director Chief Supt. Orlando Pestaño identified the NPA officer as
Corpus Saboy alias Ka Lander who is one of the officers of Kilusang
Laragan Guerilla North East operating in Malibcong, Tineg, Lagangilang
and San Juan in province of Abra.
According to Pestano,
Saboy is in the 11th position in the order of battle of Armed Forces
of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
after a negotiation headed by Abra Governor Eustaquio Bersamin and is
now under debriefing and tactical interrogation of Abra provincial
police. (with report from Bradley de
Evardone to jumpstart
800-meter covered walk project of Balangkayan Elem Alumni Association
By BRYAN M. AZURA
BALANGKAYAN, E. Samar
– Eastern Samar Governor Ben P. Evardone assured the officers and
members of the Balangkayan Central Elementary School Alumni
Association (BESAA) of assistance on the latter’s covered walk project
during the 3rd BESAA grand alumni homecoming recently.
The provincial chief
who was the guest of honor of the said event said that while he may
not be able to come up with sufficient funds before his second term
ends for the 800-meter covered walk which will stretch along the rice
field that separates the town and the school, he will surely make sure
that the project will be started. “Mamoy, kindly ask the municipal
engineer, who is probably a graduate of (BCES) also, to immediately
provide him the program of work,” the governor said to SBM Gesite
during his speech.
Evardone (right), IBP Prov’l President Lionel Titong and BCES
Alumni Asso. President Arnold Gesite engage in a serious chat
during the 3rd Grand Alumni Homecoming in Balangkayan town.
Mayor Arnold Gesite,
also the incumbent president of BESAA, said that the project is a
primary concern of the both the association and the school.
“Governor’s assurance is really very timely because going to the school
is always a daily struggle of almost 700 pupils as not all of them are
capable of buying umbrella,” Gesite lamented. The councilor detailed
that during rainy season, children oftentimes arrive in school or in
their homes wet while during dry season, children become restless
because of too much perspiration from the direct heat of the sun.
“The daily exposure of
the children to extreme weather makes them susceptible to illnesses as
well, thus affecting their scholastic performance as well,” councilor
Macario Agojayan, BCES
Principal-in-charge, also expressed thanks for the concern of the
governor to the need of the school. “This only shows that Governor
Evardone is really supportive of the education program in the
province,” Agojayan said in an interview.
governor led the oath-taking of the new members of the association who
just graduated last March. The governor encouraged them to continue to
strive hard as they pursue their dreams.
Gilmar Gunda, a newly
installed member, said that the life of the governor is truly an
inspiration to students like them. Gunda will enter high school this
Upon arrival, the
governor received a warm welcome from the alumni. The senior citizens
who are also BCES graduates, swarmed in group to greet Governor
Evardone upon entering the covered plaza of the town. Along with
Councilor Gesite who welcomed the provincial chief were Vice Mayor
Nita Alde, SBM Leon Gunda and SBM Alice Abunales. All present
municipal officials were also members of the alumni association.
governor was elated by the cheers and loud claps rendered to him by
the alumni during his stay. Mary Ann Globio of batch 1990 said that
the warm reception was really an obvious manifestation that Governor
Evardone has been missed so much by Balangkayanons emphasizing that
the alumni association basically represents the entire Balangkayan
SBM Gesite reiterated
that the governor has always and will continue to get support from the
alumni association. “I hope the governor will frequently visit our
town,” Gesite said.
Hinabangan town dreams
of being the food basket of Eastern Visayas
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 19, 2009
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Hinbangan,
Samar a 4th class agricultural municipality some 37 kilometers south
of Samar’s capital town is dreaming to be the food basket of Eastern
This was announced by
Mayor Alejandro ’Alex’ Abarratigue during the town’s 61st founding
delivered his state of the municipality address (SOMA), the first item
on his list was that he introduced Hinabangan as an agricultural
municipality where most people depend on farming and fishing as the
source of living.
He added that the type
of soil in his town is suited to vegetables, root crops and fruit
However, lately, a
decline on the food production has been noticed.
He pointed to lack of
quality seeds, lack of fertilizers and the farmers’ adherence to
traditional farming styles as reasons for the decline in agricultural
Then he praised the
Department of Agriculture headed by Leo Cañeda and An Waray Partylist
Representative Florencio ‘Bembem’ Noel for providing high quality
seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs.
agriculturist (MAO), he added also conducted trainings in banana
production and high value crops. The office also suggested putting up
a demonstration farm for farmers to witness how to produce more.
Activation of the
Municipal and Fishery Council (MAF-C) also assisted the MAO in the
delivery of agricultural services to Hinabangan farmers.
He added that someday,
with all these things his administration is doing for agriculture, his
dream of making Hinabangan “Food basket of the region” will be
The mayor finalized
his mention of agriculture initiatives by saying, “I believe that once
we improve agriculture, we will also improve the living standard of
Only 4 guerilla fronts
remain in East Visayas, 8th ID chief says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – “I
am positive that the insurgency problem in Eastern Visayas will be
crushed before the end of the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,”
Major General Arthur Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry
Division of the Philippine Army said.
General Tabaquero made
the statement during the Regional Media Interview with President
Arroyo at Barangay Rebong, Las Navas, Northern Samar on
June 16, 2009.
“Of the eleven active
guerilla fronts in Eastern Visayas, seven were already dismantled,”
General Tabaquero disclosed.
The good General said
that only four active guerilla fronts remain active, two in Northern
Samar and two in Western Samar. Three of these fronts will be
dismantled before the end of 2009, the General said.
This campaign against
insurgency will become a reality especially if the people will
continue to give their support and cooperation and work hand in hand
with the military, with the government, General Tabaquero stressed.
agreed with General Tabaquero and called on the people to help the
government in its campaign to rid the country of the communist
“The fight to
eradicate insurgency is every one’s fight. We all have a duty to
perform and a challenge that must be met,” the President said.
The President, while
citing the remarkable progress attained by the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) in the drive to dismantle the Communist Party of the
Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF),
admitted that more efforts are still needed to resolve the 40-year-old
“We have made a lot of
success in our fight against insurgency. However, there are more that
need to be done if we are going to remove this challenge which has
plagued the government for many years,” the President told a regional
media interview here.
Military data as of
May 2009 showed that the membership in the communist terrorist
movement dropped significantly from 7,170 in 2006 to 4,874 in 2009.
The same data
disclosed that from 100 guerrilla fronts in 2006, only 75 remain
It was also noted that
the number of armaments in insurgent hands had been reduced
nationwide: from 6,060 in 2006 to 5,143 in May 2009.
number of affected barangays had been reduced from 2,121 in 2006 to
1,378 in May 2009, the President said.
DOH: Dengue is more
deadly than AH1N1
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 18, 2009
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Amid the AH1N1 scare that has caused panic in a Catholic school in
Catbalogan, the Department of Health Samar representative Dr. Antonio
Tirazona said that the people should also pay attention to dengue
fever considered to be more deadly than AH1N1.
On Wednesday, in the
forum about dengue attended by school teachers, school nurses
representatives from national government agencies and health
personnel, Tirazona said that fatality in dengue fever is 5% to 10%
while it is only .6% in AH1N1.
Speakers could not
help but compare the two as the discussion progressed.
Leonido Olobia, the
Regional Entomologist urged the teachers to become information
multipliers especially to their students. The young are almost always
the victims of dengue fever.
Olobia also cited that
Catbalogan contributed the second highest number of dengue cases in
2008 second to Tacloban City.
He added that of the
939 cases in 2008; 11 children died.
Olobia also mentioned
that in 2007 there were some 164 dengue cases in Pambujan, Northern,
however cited that dengue cases in the region is on the decline. The
good news though should not put our guard down, they stressed.
The public is
encouraged to practice four healthy habits to avoid dengue. One is to
search and destroy all breeding sites (where there is water). Second
is to practice self protection methods, third is to seek early
consultation and fourth which they claim is important is to say no to
The health officer
discouraged barangay officials from the latter, he added that it is
important to clean and clear the breeding places more than fogging.
Fogging, he said
does not necessarily wipe out dengue as proven in most cases in Samar
last year. There were still cases recorded even with fogging. Fogging
is advised only during outbreak, Olobia stressed.
DOH takes center stage
as biggest ally of Samar mayor in providing basic social services
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 18, 2009
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office 8 received praises and
accolades from Hinabangan Mayor Alejandro Abarratigue during his first
State of the Municipality Address (SOMA) on
June 15, 2009.
The event also
coincided with the town’s 61st founding anniversary celebration.
that when he started to serve as Mayor three years ago, Hinabangan had
no doctor. His repeated pleadings for a doctor paid off when a ‘Doctor
to the Barrios’ Dr. Rhee Tecson was sent to Hinabangan to serve as the
Municipal Health Officer.
Tecson in an earlier
interview with PIA claims he is from the city but accepted the post as
he feels challenged with his job as a rural health officer.
Today, the young doc
is one of the mayor’s favourite ally in providing health services that
he devoted two pages of praises for the young physician whom the mayor
mentioned literally hiked and trekked through mountains to reach the
most remote barangays called Cabang and Tabay.
PIA learned that it
takes a half day climb through Samar’s rugged terrain to reach Tabay.
Tecson, the mayor said
initiated blood letting in this town and has established a blood bank
in Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC), the biggest government
hospital in the region.
Another plus which the
mayor thanked DOH was for giving them a Health Manager Ms. Steph
Asence, to this he credited DTTB Coordinator Dr. Genelyn Herrera.
The new Rural Health
Unit, said Mayor Alex, has lab tests very useful to his poor
constituents who do not have to go to Samar’s capital town nor to
Tacloban city for the needed services.
He also mentioned the
sufficient medicines for the disposal of his people with “no color
coding, basta nangangailangan, pinagbibigyan.”
The RHU has also a
resident medical technologist.
Mayor Abarratigue also
thanked the national government for the Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas
(NARS) program as it gave his Hinabangan three young nurses as
committed as the young DTTB Tecson in providing the best service.
As DOH Regional
Director Dr. Ed Gonzaga was present, Abarratigue gave recognition to
the additional Botika ng Barangay allocated by DOH 8 which does not
only provide cheaper medicines but gives additional income to a few
To show how much he
values his leading health service providers and the volunteers
assisting the medical personnel, Abarratigue announced that he was
giving additional honorarium to his 100 Barangay Health Workers (BHWs).
Catbalogan on toes as DOH confirms case
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
June 17, 2009
– Catbalogan, Samar ’s capital is bracing for a case of AH1N1.
The afflicted person
whose identity was not divulged, is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)
who is on vacation and has reportedly come from Singapore.
The patient, said
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Dulce Cernal sought admission at the
EVRMC on June 10 and it is only Tuesday, June 16, 2009 that the result
was known as positive.
The patient remains at
the EVRMC as of presstime.
Parents of students
enrolled at St. Mary’s College of Catbalogan (SMCC) are panicky that the two children of the affected
person may be spreading the flu as they are enrolled at the RVM
SMCC does not answer
telephone calls and the media was just given a notification dated June
16, that classes in the ‘basic education level’ has been suspended
June 19, 2009.
The advisory talked of
precautionary measures but said, “There is no confirmed case in the
school and no confirmed community level transmission…”
The announcement bore
the name Sr. Rachel Bernardo, RVM.
From fellow media
officers, PIA learned that the wife is also a public school teacher
and that the family has two helpers who sought medical care from the
Samar Provincial Hospital.
Chief of Hospital Dr
Rudolf Mabulay in a phone interview said the hospital is getting ready
with a huge preparation on managing this affliction. The doc though
gave advice to the public about personal hygiene, handwashing and
remaining within a safe distance from those afflicted with flu.
Representative Dr. Antonio Tirazona confirmed the case through a text
Tirazona added that
the patient’s contacts will be subjected to laboratory tests tomorrow.
DOH also adviced the
Samar Provincial Hospital and the Rural health Unit of Catbalogan to
Although the official
announcement from the RVM school says suspension of classes is only
until Friday, Tirazona in his text message said the suspension is for
Health Officer Dr. Senesia Yong has been actively tracing the
patients’ contact and doing her share of close surveillance and
monitoring of the contacts.